Muslim Children Asked to Leave Public Swimming Pool in US 'Due to Clothing'
Tahsiyn A Ismaa'eel, who runs a summer Arabic enrichment programme, said that the pool manager informed her that it is against city policy to allow cotton clothing in public pools, a rule that she claimed is "never enforced."
(Photo: Image for representation only)
Washington: Some Muslim children and their instructor have been kicked out of public swimming pool in the US state of Delaware as they were wearing traditional headscarves, according to a media report.
Tahsiyn A Ismaa'eel, who runs a summer Arabic enrichment programme, told Delaware Online she had been taking participants to the Foster Brown Public Pool in Wilmington for four years now, but this time they faces an issue there.
The children were wearing shirts, shorts and hijabs at the pool, the report quoted Ismaa'eel as saying.
She said the pool manager informed her that it is against city policy to allow cotton clothing in public pools, a rule that she claimed is "never enforced".
Owner and principal of the Darul-Amaanah Academy for over the past five years, Ismaa'eel believes she and her children have been the victims of bigotry and discrimination.
"At the same time, there are other kids with cotton on...I asked, 'Why are my kids being treated differently?'"
Ismaa'eel, who adorns a burqa, said that she was finally forced to leave after the manager called a police officer stationed just outside the pool area. An official in Mayor Mike Purzycki's office initially said cotton poses a safety risk because it becomes heavy when wet and because it strains the pool's filtration system.
However, Mayor Purzycki on Saturday sent out a statement saying it was "wrong of the City to ask children of the Muslin faith to leave a City pool because of religious-related clothing they were wearing."
"We should be held accountable for what happened and how poorly we assessed this incident," Mayor Purzycki said.
"I apologise to the children who were directed to leave a city pool because of the religious-required clothing they were wearing. We also referred to vaguely-worded pool policies to assess and then justify our poor judgment, and that was also wrong," the mayor said.
The mayor said he hopes to meet with the children and their camp director soon so that he can address their concerns and apologise directly. He also assured residents that religious-related garb is allowed in City pools, the report said.
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